iStat Menus demotes user’s licenses with sneaky upgrade
For the last few years, I’ve been using a cute little tool called iStat menus to graph my CPU/Memory in my address bar.
It doesn’t do that much, but it works, it stays out of my way, and the UI is better than the nearest free alternative.
I don’t think about the tool very much – Once in a while I’ll glance up when the system is running slow, or use the clock function to see the time in multiple time-zones.
Every so often, there’s a new version available, and the software prompts me to upgrade –
I generally go ahead and agree to the change, and go about my business.
Although my 1999 self would cry to hear me say it, I don’t always read through the changelogs-
We get them everywhere now – On my Android Phone (Yep, go ahead, update), iPhone (Sure. Update), OSX (OK, add the new release), etc.
In my professional life managing servers, I review the changes, weigh the pros and cons, and decide if I want to upgrade – But for a simple Menu app, that seems overkill.
This week, iStat released another upgrade, and once more I upgraded without really paying much attention.
I probably should have, but realistically, I don’t think most users will.
As you can see in the screenshot however, this upgrade to iStat Pro 4 is a paid upgrade.
Accepting this upgrade downgraded my paid software to 14-day trial status.
iStat is offering upgrade pricing ($9), and the app isn’t that expensive in and of itself, but the entire process felt very sketchy.
Users are used to accepting in-app upgrades, and switching one out for a paid-upgrade feels very disingenuous, regardless of their justifications.
Bjango (the creators) could have handled things differently,by setting the “Remind me Later” Dialog option to be the blue/rightmost option, or even installing as a different name in the Applications folder, so you could still easily fire up v3.
Admittedly, It’s a minor issue, $9 isn’t much, and I don’t begrudge an indie shop trying to raise money for a new version and stand in business, but the sense of fairplay has been violated- It’s one more reason for me to try to avoid buying non App Store applications in the future.
For anyone else who runs into this, You can uninstall iStat 4 using the menu item-
And then reinstall Version 3.
For what it’s worth, I did end up buying the upgrade. The UI is a bit nicer.
This isn’t about the $9. It’s about the process.